Music Editor Hannah Gadd sits down with Baby Queen ahead of her Nottingham show to talk about tour and her dazzling debut album Quarter Life Crisis


It is a very exciting time for existential-pop powerhouse Baby Queen; her debut album is taking the charts by storm and she is about to wrap up an incredible UK tour. I got the exciting opportunity to sit down with the rising anti-popstar ahead of her Nottingham show and talk all about the tour and her dazzling debut release, Quarter Life Crisis

First of all, how does it feel to finally have your debut album out?

Oh my God…I don’t know! It’s just so intense at the moment and there’s so much going on. To be on tour when it comes out is kinda overwhelming and exciting and anti-climatic and everything at once but it’s good, yeah it’s a whirlwind! 


It’s such an amazing album! With just a few dates left, how has the Quarter Life Crisis Tour been treating you?

It’s been amazing. Actually, my favourite tour I’ve ever been on. I usually find it hard to tour but I’ve only cried one time, it’s revolutionary! The tour started when the album wasn’t out so not everyone knew the songs but it’s been amazing to share that experience with people, everyone’s just been so excited. To play shows the day before the album comes and the day after the album comes out – the energy has been tangible.

I think this is my best live show yet because of how some of those songs can translate into a really beautiful live arrangement

What challenges and rewards come with bringing your music into a live environment?

The challenges have been with the show overall because I think, you know, it’s been a journey bringing the show to where it is. When I first started playing live, it was way too much vocal on track and it was more of a pop show than I wanted it to be – I wanted it to be a musician’s show. The great thing about putting this album onto the stage is that it lends itself so well to having really intimate moments where I can really showcase the songwriting. It’s been super rewarding, I think this is my best live show yet because of how some of those songs can translate into a really beautiful live arrangement and have it feel like it’s really played in the room. I hate playing the pop songs because I feel like I’m doing karaoke, you know what I mean! This album has been fun because it’s very musical.


Where do your musical inspirations come from and how have they influenced Quarter Life Crisis?

I think if I go back to when I was much younger, my parents listened to lots of soul and funk, lots of soaring choruses. Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ – that’s what I saw as the greatest song of all time, that chorus is so high and soaring and I think that’s like the energy in ‘Raw Thoughts’ and ‘We Can Be Anything’. It’s just like, get this chorus to be euphoric as f*ck. Obviously Taylor Swift is the reason I picked up the guitar but I’ve tried so hard to distance myself from that. That’s how I learnt to songwrite so that’s naturally in all your inflections, it’s in the way that you phrase things and it’s in your melodies. I’ve had to try, throughout my career, to really distance myself from that because you don’t want to be the same as anyone else. Then I got really into nineties rock and alternative music the year before I really started to work on this album and I think you can hear that in ‘Kid Genius’. It sort of creeps in, it’s a whole mixture of things. 


You’ve described making an album as ‘the worst experience ever!’. What were some of the challenges you came across during the process? 

I thought I was sh*t. I thought I was the worst songwriter in the world and then I had this theory that I just tricked everyone into thinking that I was good but I was actually so bad and I thought I was really stupid because I smoked too much weed. I put so much pressure on myself. It felt like a second album because of the amount of music that I had coming out and the second album is the hardest thing to do but it had all the pressure and the name of a debut album. I was very in my own head and very isolated by the process and it felt like there was no-one else in the world sharing that level of obsession and that level of fear and stress. It was a very isolating experience and I’m very f*cking happy that it’s over!

It’s just really important that I do the songs justice by bringing them to life in the best way I possibly can.

From ‘Baby Queen’s Bedroom’ to your work with friend and stylist- Amy Stephenson, your music is very visual. Why do you think it’s important to have strong imagery alongside your music?

When I think of my favourite albums and artists, I can paint a picture in my head. I just think the visual is how you bring the music to life and you get to almost control what image people recall to their brain when they think about you and I think that’s a really powerful thing. I also think music should have a world around it. You want, as a fan, to fall very deeply into the world of the artist you’re listening to and you want to feel like there’s no limit to how deeply you can fall into that world. It’s just really important that I do the songs justice by bringing them to life in the best way I possibly can. It’s a huge part of Baby Queen. I’ve always been big on colours and what colour somebody brings to mind when they say your name. That’s what I’ve always done when I think of my favourite artists albums, each album I can give a colour to it. I was really trying to do that as well.


And finally, what has the Quarter Life Crisis era taught you so far and what else can we expect from it?

I think it has taught me to, I guess trust my instincts, to follow myself, to trust the process and to not waiver from what I think and believe and to not listen to the people that disagree with my beliefs about my music. So that, and yeah what has it taught me? Not that much to be honest! I think finding that self-belief again has been really big for me because my relationship with music has been a bit rocky for a while and feeling like I’m not creating it for myself and I’m not trusting myself. I’ve got that back which is really nice. I think next, I’m going to make an album that is completely within my own image of what I think a great album is. I’m going to cocoon myself even more and I’m not going to listen to any other outside influences and really make the album that I want to make because I trust myself more.

Baby Queen’s debut album Quarter Life Crisis is out now!

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